Record Info

Eldridge Skell press photoThe story of Eldridge Skell’s The Rude Staircase begins with a hearty appetite for transpollinated thought patterns, a dead-end job doing thankless invigilation at the Mardi Gras Indian Museum in New Orleans, LA and a natural inclination towards the transcendentalism of misty hilltops.  The group’s founder and leader L. Skell honed his sonic hypnotism by woodshedding in the backroom of Misty Cleavage’s Mississippi Moon Dancerie. But this night train would not flag the sundown lighter any longer. He soon moved his outboard vision quest to the cultural hotspot of Washington D.C. where he began a long distance disembodied stalking of Dagmar Krause.

It was around this time, while sleeping and rehearsing in a tiny scummy flooded basement, that he met his musical soulmates LoveLace-on-Tape and Vaclav Havel. This initial trio of guitar, mandoraphone and electric tuba sounded like a bangled stripper humping John Trubee’s The Ugly Janitors of America after beating the cathartic raindrops out of both Wingtip Sloat and Tragic Mulatto. They continued crafting songs and playing gigs while hatching their masterplan for making a record of all out feathercloud mindfuckery and torrential lift-off!  This was destined to be the best band to come out of DC since Beefeater and The Make Up.

This glorious recording process would begin in late 2003 mainly to capture Lovelace-on-Tape before he vanished into premature Hollywood Babylonian disappearance condition.  The purposefully haphazard basic tracking of theremin, trombone and cello was made at the Spinto University Tech Studio in Arlington VA. All subsequent ensemble material was recorded in a home studio using the latest TrUthQuEst technology. Eventually a psychic signal emanating from the underside of a magic suitcase facilitated The Rude Staircase’s contact with the cult savory snack aficionado and genius engineer/producer Bob Drake.  The studio mastery proved so successful that the group instantly ceased to exist upon its completion! The Ancient Ones were pleased.

The final product “Sookie Jump” is an elegant pile of songs reminiscent of the architectural innovations of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water and Paolo Soleri’s massive utopian concrete village Arcosanti.  It builds tension and grabs attention by really cramming darkness into the spaces between sounds in an uneven interstitial bumpy car ride soundtrack on dusty dirt road donkey trail of desire. It suggests the single-minded mania of “Pretties for You” era Alice Cooper but the sound is more full than the gregarious headdress of Samla Mammas Manna and playful like the precise hooliganism of Willem Breuker Kollektiv. By the end of this experience we will all feel like we’ve listened to the entire career output of The Cardiacs in one sitting with a warm belly full of crazy jalfrezi.